JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, February 14 – South Africa’s Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has been arrested after shooting dead his girlfriend having mistaken her for an intruder, media reported on Thursday.
According the Die Beeld website Pistorius shot his girlfriend about 04:00am local time (5 am Kenyan time) killing her at his home in Silver Lakes, Pretoria.
It is alleged he thought she was a burglar. Captain Sarah Mcira of the police confirmed that Pistorius’s girlfriend was shot in the arm and the head and she died at the scene.
Afrikaans-language Beeld is reporting he mistook the woman, his girlfriend of a year, for a burglar to his home.
Pistorius is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
A police spokeswoman told Reuters that a woman had been found dead at the house but declined to give any more details.
Pistorius, who races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs, was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400 metres semi-finals in London 2012.
Nicknamed ‘the Blade Runner’, the 26-year-old has been a trailblazer for disabled athletes, and was hailed as an inspiration by many of the able-bodied athletes during the London Games.
He was due to arrive in Australia on March 6 and was due to compete in 400m events in Sydney on March 9 and Perth on March 16.
He made history in 2012 when he became the first amputee to compete in the Olympics before winning gold in the 4x400m relay at the Paralympic Games.
Last year Time Magazine named him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
The Johannesburg-born runner had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old after being born without lower leg bones. But he played sports unhindered while growing up, switching to running after fracturing a knee playing rugby.
At high school, he was so good that his personal fitness coach said she was unaware for six months that he ran on prosthetic legs.
But he was initially banned from competing in the Olympics in Beijing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on the grounds that his blades gave him an unfair advantage.
That decision was later overturned on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), although he ultimately failed to meet the Olympic qualifying standard time.
He went on to win a silver medal as part of the 4x400m relay team at the 2011 World Championships in South Korean city of Daegu before representing his country at the London Olympics and Paralympics last year.
Off the track, Pistorius is an adrenalin junkie, with a love of speed reflected in a passion for motorbikes.
Four years ago he crashed his boat in a river south of Johannesburg, breaking two ribs, an eye socket and his jaw.
He also once owned two white tigers but sold them to a zoo in Canada when they became too big.